Hot Jobs in the Desert

America’s hottest labor market is located in Phoenix, where about 325,100 jobs have been created since 2002, or the equivalent of 1,250 per week.

And the sprawling desert metroplex’s jobless rate of 3% is the nation’s fourth-lowest, according to a new Bizjournals study.

While Phoenix claimed the top spot, another Arizona city found a spot at number 10 in the list of hottest cities. The study points out that Tucson, Phoenix’s southeastern neighbor, has seen a 16.6% employment growth in the past five years, with an unemployment rate at 3.5%. The city has 311,600 private-sector jobs as of mid-2007.

What’s Hot

Other cities on the hot list include Salt Lake City and Boise, Idaho, which came in at numbers two and three, respectively.

The Utah capital has created 77,200 jobs since 2002. Its employment base has jumped 11.3% since 2005, the nation’s fastest pace over that period. The local unemployment rate of 2.8% is the second-smallest across all of America.

Meanwhile, Boise boasts the lowest jobless rate, at 2.1%. The growing high-tech region’s job-growth rate of 11% since 2005 is the second-best in the nation.

Other cities on the top-10 list include Riverside/San Bernardino, California; Houston; Dallas; Las Vegas; Austin; and Ft. Myers, Florida.

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The study pointed out that the Ft. Myers/Cape Coral region, the smallest market in the top 10, is the only one located east of the Mississippi River. The southwest Florida region has added 49,500 jobs, for a 32.2% growth rate since 2002, the fastest in the nation.

And What’s Not

Automaker struggles have weighted down Detroit, which has lost 104,000 private-sector jobs since 2002. The Motown city came in at the number-one spot of the 10 coldest job markets.

At number two on the coldest list, New Orleans showed just 2,200 jobs added between 2002 to 2005. Post-Katrina, the city lost one-fifth of its employment base, and the study points out that most of those jobs are still gone.

Ohio has four cities on the coldest list. Coming in at number three, Bizjournals calls Youngstown, Ohio, “a manufacturing hub struggling to adapt to the 21st century.” And number four is occupied by Dayton, Ohio, which the study calls “another Midwestern market that was dependent on heavy industry in the old days, and is now trying to diversify.” Dayton has lost 12,500 jobs since 2002.

Runners-up on the Bizjournals study include Cleveland, Ohio; Lansing, Michigan; Toledo, Ohio; Springfield, Massachusetts; New Haven, Connecticut; and Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Elaine Rigoli has nearly 15 years of experience managing content and community for various B2B and consumer websites. Elaine has written thousands of business and technology articles and has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal and eWeek, among other publications.


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